“Women in Sport and Exercise Conference 2018: Blood, Sweat and Fears”

Research on women and how a woman’s body responds to exercise lags far behind that carried out on men. For instance, there is limited research on how variations in hormones can affect sports performance (Bruinvels et al., 2017), and females are significantly under-represented in research in sports and exercise medicine (Costello, Bieuzen, & Bleakley, 2014). Males also outnumber females in sport-related employment, especially in graduate-level jobs, senior roles, and in leadership positions (Hartmann-Tews, & Pfister, 2005). For instance, there are far fewer female head athletic trainers (Mazerolle, Burton, & Raymond, 2015), sports physicians (Stern, Gateley, & Barrett, 2013), sport coaches/head coaches (Norman, 2012; Walker & Bopp, 2011) and governance executives of organised sport (Burton, 2015; Koca & Öztürk, 2015; Pfister & Radtke, 2009) than there are male.

To address these points and raise awareness of some of these gender inequalities that relate to research and graduate-level employment Staffordshire University Senior Lecturer Dr Jacky Forsyth is hosting the “Women in Sport and Exercise Conference 2018: Blood, Sweat and Fears” held at the University on 13th-14th June 2018. The aim of the conference is to debate the female-specific health and medical issues arising from physical activity and sport, and to raise awareness of the issues and opportunities for women’s exercise participation

Conference keynote speakers include Annamarie Phelps CBE OLY, Vice Chair of the British Olympic Association and an advocate for safe and inclusive sport for all.

Angela Smith, who was instrumental in the formation of the women’s squash professional organisation and circuit .


Lisa O’Keefe, Insight Director at Sport England who will be sharing the story behind their ‘This Girl Can’ campaign.

There will also be invited and guest speakers, from university academics, medical professionals, and from organisations such as Women in Sport. Topics include: nutrition for the exercising female; body image; cardiovascular health, female hormones and exercise; lifestyle interventions for women’s health issues; male/female differences in pacing, fatigue and tactics of winning races; breast biomechanics and health implications; bone health; female sports endocrinology; the benefits and risks of menstruation and sport; the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives; gender diversity in women’s coaching; concussion and the female athlete; the impact of puberty on girls’ attitudes towards sport; a performance psychology approach to building confidence; physical activity for pregnant women; iron deficiency; motherhood as an athletic career transition; homophobia; and diversity.

The conference is endorsed by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS), and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), with support also from Fitrwoman, the Women’s Sports Network, C-Motion Research Biomechanics, Routledge, Una Sports Medicine, and PhysiYoga Designs Ltd. We are expecting a range of delegates to attend, including researchers, academics, athletes, coaches, students, and those involved in the governance of sport.

The Women in Sport and Exercise conference forms part of the Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network (WISEAN), the aim of which is to grow, strengthen and promote research on women in sport and exercise, with the goal of optimising women’s athletic success and their participation. Through the conference and network, we aim to promote and grow research expertise and collaboration.

For more information please see:

or email


Manchester City’s Anthony Greenhouse visits SUST Clinic

Staffordshire University’s final year Sports Therapy students were given a visit and guest lecture from one of 2018 Premier League Champions Manchester City medical staff, Anthony Greenhouse. Anthony, who has worked for the club in different roles since 2008, and currently serves as the Under 23’s Physiotherapist / Sports Rehabilitator delivered a masterclass in Hamstring injury prevention, assessment and treatment as well passing on his 14-years’ experience of working in professional football.

Anthony, who is currently completing an MSc Sports Injury Rehabilitation himself, provided a short lecture on why hamstring injuries are so prevalent in football, and how practices have changed based on advancement in knowledge of risk factors associated with their onset and re-occurrence. Anthony was able to draw upon his own current research investigations into the effects of hamstring architecture and fascicle length, informing students of the emerging knowledge in this area.

The session also provided the students with practical examples of the activities the club  implement into player preparation for training sessions, conditioning activities and rehabilitation programmes when players do break down. The session ended with a discussion around the changes in practice, workloads and skills needed to be successful at the different levels of football. In addition to this Anthony discussed his own study pathway and provided “next step” advice and the importance to keep learning post-graduating.

Anthony said “Its been great to come in and help these students to feel ready for work and tell them how important the skills they bring to a football club are at all level of performance. I’ve seen the opportunities for Sports Therapist grow year on year in football and its important that clubs continue to use these graduates to support the players needs. I’ve known some of the staff here for a long time, and its great to see the mix of experience and expertise they have for this course and what they can pass on to pass on to the students ideal for them.”

The students said “its been great to have someone in who is working at a club as successful as Manchester City come in and tell us how important we can be to medical department. We got some great information passed on to us, and hearing how so much of the information we’ve been taught is used by elite athletes on a day to day basis has really given me a confidence boost just as I am about to start my career”.

For more information about the Sports Therapy course at Staffordshire University, please click here or email Course Leader Steve Bateman on S.J.Bateman@staffs.ac.uk

Innagural Staffs Uni Inter-professional approach to applied S&C conference

Staffordshire University Strength and Conditioning are hosting their first Inter-professional approach to applied S&C conference on Thursday 26th April.

This exciting event will pull together knowledge and expertise from leader practitioners within the sector.

Key note speakers (50 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions) include:

Jamie Tallent – Utilising Eccentric Resistance Training for developing Strength Qualities in Athletes

Jamie joined St Marys as a Senior Lecturer in Strength and Conditioning Science in May 2016. Previously he was the lead strength and condition coach for Derbyshire County Cricket Club for 5 years. He has over 10 years’ experience working in professional and developmental sport and currently supports international and national athletes. He is a UKSCA tutor and grants panel member. Jamie has a PhD investigating neurological adaptations to eccentric resistance training and has authored/co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. He specialises in eccentric muscle contractions, neurological adaptations to resistance training, acute neuromuscular fatigue and has an interest in cricket related research.

Nick Grantham – You’re Hired
Nick has become recognised as a specialist in athletic preparation and has helped athletes at all levels achieve their personal goals and ambitions. Nick has worked in high performance sport for 20 years and has extensive experience of long term athlete development. As lead strength and conditioning coach to National Governing Body’s, Home Institutes and professional teams, Nick has been responsible for the management, development and delivery of integrated physical preparation strategies for a wide range of sports.

Paul Comfort – Assessment of multi-joint force production: why and how?
Paul is a Reader in Strength and Conditioning and programme leader for the MSc Strength and Conditioning at the University of Salford. He has applied experience across a variety of team sports; currently Paul enjoys consultancy roles with professional sports teams within the Greater Manchester area. A founder member of the UKSCA, he is also an editorial board member for the Professional Strength and Conditioning Journal. Paul is a senior associate for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and has published in excess of 100 peer reviewed journals, numerous book chapters and edited books such as Sports Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention and Advanced Strength and Conditioning.

Short talks (30 mins including questions)

Andrew Wood – Giving advice to those who don’t want to listen: Core skills to foster motivation and change 
Andrew is Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and recently completed a PhD investigating the effects of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy as an intervention to enhance performance within the context of elite sport. As a consultant Andrew has worked with a wide variety of athletes, teams, and coaches, providing psychological support to develop sporting excellence and personal wellbeing. Andrew is coming towards the end of his training as a Sport and Exercise Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and is currently the Lead Psychologist for the England Blind Football Team.

Christopher Norris – Strength and Conditioning in rehabilitation – a hamstring example
Dr Christopher Norris PhD, MSc, MCSP is a Chartered Physiotherapist who qualified in 1981. He holds a Doctorate in spinal rehabilitation, and a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science. He has postgraduate accreditation in Acupuncture, Orthopaedic Medicine, and Occupational Health, and is the author of 14 books on Sports Injuries, Exercise, rehabilitation, and Acupuncture. His company website is www.norrishealth.co.uk

Powerpint and poster presentations (5 minutes for powerpoint presentation to introduce the posters followed by poster defence)

Call for Abstracts – 5 minutes’ power presentations and following poster
Short abstracts for the 1st Staffordshire Conference on Inter-Professional Approaches to Applied Strength and Conditioning which will be held on Thursday 26th April 2018 are to be submitted by e-mail to Philip.walker@staffs.ac.uk by 21st March 2018
The text should be limited to two pages of A4, with the first page to include the Title of Presentation, Author(s), Corresponding Author’s Name, Address, Telephone number and e-mail address. Second page should include a full abstract with introduction, methodology, results and discussion.
Acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to the corresponding author by: 31st March, 2018

Register at: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/sccb/register 

or email Phil.Walker@staffs.ac.uk

We hope you can join us!

Nippon Sport Science University Student Exchange Program 2018 Sport and Exercise

This year the Sport and Exercise Department will send Staffordshire University students on the ‘Sports Exchange Program’ to the highly esteemed Nippon Sport Science University in Japan.

Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU) boasts a number of Olympic gold medalists among its graduates and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Staffordshire University last year to develop a sport and cultural exchange program. Staffordshire University is the only Higher Education partner in the UK working with NSSU, which is officially accredited by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.
Eight NSSU students took part in a preliminary visit to the Stoke-on-Trent campus last summer and members of Staffordshire University’s Sport and Exercise department James Capper (Head of Department for Sport and Exercise) and Andrew Wood (Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology) spent a week at the university and got a taste of the country’s sporting culture, which included attending a Japanese baseball game.

“We saw first-hand the range and level of sporting, cultural and academic experiences that would be available to Staffordshire students whilst at NSSU in Tokyo. Andrew and I also met a range of academics at the university and explored possible research and teaching collaborations.” James explained. 

After an intensive and expansive recruitment and application process across all years and disciplines within sport and exercise 23 students and two staff members will be travelling to Nippon University this summer – set in the heart of the bustling city of Tokyo.
“It’s an extremely exciting opportunity for our students to spend time at a prestigious sports university whilst gaining professional insights into pioneering athletic support. James and I both also agree this trip offers more than just professional development. The interest in the placement is a credit to our students whose willingness to break the shackles and immerse themselves in culture they will not be accustomed to will develop them as global citizens” Andrew described.
The visit by Staffordshire students to the Tokyo and Yokohama campuses will run for three-weeks May 2018 where they will be paired with ‘buddies’ from NSSU based on their mutual sport interests and courses. The students will have the opportunity to use NSSU’s sports facilities, engage with the related sport courses and develop their Japanese language skills.

James added: “This is a very exciting partnership. There is real potential to develop the existing MOU into some very specific activities with student exchanges at the heart of them and this will now be the plan for 2017-18 and beyond.”

To follow the activities of our students during this trip follow us on twitter @StaffSpEx

Staffs Hold 2nd Performance Psychology Conference

The Sport and Performance Psychology Team at Staffordshire University hosted their Second Performance Psychology Conference on Wednesday 18th October 2017.

Following the success of the Inaugural event in October 2016, the conference brought together world-leading expert practitioners who shared their insights of applying evidence-based approaches to sport and performance psychology. The day started with a fantastic Keynote address from Andy Halliday (England and TeamGB Olympic Hockey manager) on “Developing Resilience in an Elite Sport Team Environment”.

The format of the day included an expert panel discussion on Performance Psychology in Practice, and a series of interactive workshops facilitated by Prof Marc Jones (Staffordshire University), Andy McCann (DNA Definitive), Joe Dixon (Stoke City Football Club), Prof Chris Shambrook (Planet K2 and Staffordshire University), Dr. Sarah Kelly (NHS), and Helen O’Connor (Private Practitioner). The themes of the workshops included “Thriving under Pressure”, “Doing Performance Psychology”, and “Recognising and Supporting Clinical Issues”.

The day concluded with an excellent Keynote by Dr. Pete Lindsay (Director of Mindflick) who gave an insightful overview of his “Problem Cleaning” approach to performance psychology.

The conference was attended by 75 delegates, including trainee psychologists, current students, academics from across the UK, and experienced practitioners. The delegates’ feedback suggested it had been an inspiring and enjoyable day:
“Thanks for the event, learnt a lot and hope you put on another next year.”
“Overall, great day, really enjoyed it, will certainly come again- thank you!”
“I will be looking out for next year’s event.”

For information about future Sports Psychology events and conferences to held by Staffordshire University, please contact Dr Matthew Slater.

Staffs Host Women in Sport and Exercise Conference 2018

The “Women in Sport and Exercise Conference 2018: Blood, Sweat and Fears” is being held on 13th-14th June 2018. The focus of the conference is on the exercising female, with themes on: how to make the most of being a woman to achieve athletic success, and issues and opportunities arising from women’s participation in sport and exercise.

Baroness Sue Campbell, who is Chairperson of the Women’s Football Association, will be giving the keynote address, and Lisa O’Keefe, Director of Insight at Sport England, will be sharing the story behind their ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. We have 15 academic speakers, who will be giving inspirational talks on a range of topics, including: nutrition for the exercising female; the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives; breast biomechanics; body image; bone health; differences in tactical decision making in sport between males and females; issues on women’s coaching; sources of confidence; disability female sport; exercise in pregnancy; postnatal depression; cardiovascular health and the female; homophobia; and diversity.

We are expecting a range of delegates to attend, including researchers, academics, athletes, coaches, students, and those involved in the governance of sport. The conference will provide an opportunity to share research, and to network with others.

The event forms part of our Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network, the aim of which is to grow, strengthen and promote research on women in sport and exercise, with the goal of optimising women’s athletic success and their participation.

For more information:

Sports Coaching Student Enjoys Gains Experience in America

My first experience coaching in America was working for Challenger Sports. My first role was assigned to coaching soccer to children (3-14yo) in summer camps across California. This gave me a great opportunity to gain real work experience across mixed ages and abilities whilst getting the chance to explore California. I stayed with different host families each week and managed to visit over 20 different town and cities (incl. Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Oakland) in a 2-month period.

We were provided with our own transport with gas and wages paid for weekly during this time. One of my host families also took me to a baseball game and sand-boarding to help me settle in and further enrich my stay. During the National Holiday period we were given a week off, where I spent time in San Diego and LA with 3 of the other coaches. 

Not only did I get to coach in various places but the children that I worked with were entertaining every day and no day was the same, and i feel far more equipped and skilled in my coaching abilities as result of this. My advice to anyone would be if you want to do something go and do it, it might not be America it might be a different location but don’t let it just become an idea in your head, else you will find yourself asking yourself what if. I look forward to using this experience to enhance my learning during the remaining time of my studies.

Liam Edwards- Sports Coaching and Development student level 5

STEM ambassador opportunities for Sport & Exercise students

As part of the opportunities at increasing Staffordshire University graduates employability, students from the school of Sport & Exercise are being encourage to become STEM Ambassadors. The STEM Ambassador programme is a national programme encouraging young people to take up STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with an increasing emphasis on the inclusion of Arts STEAM) and continue onto STEM careers.

Ambassadors will have the opportunity to get involved in classroom activities, mentoring, STEM clubs and societies, careers talks and speed networking, large science festivals and fairs and community groups.

We have a group of staff and students at the University who are current ambassadors and Sport & Exercise student are being encouraged to get involved. The commitment is to take part in activity within a month of joining the programme and then to undertake one activity a year. In practice this is easy to fulfil. An activity could be a talk at a schools or college or any of our outreach activities in the University involving younger people.

The next two hour induction session for Ambassadors is on Tuesday 12th December in R350, Science Centre from 2 to 4pm. To register email stemabassador@staffs.ac.uk

“While at university, both my course and my part-time job required me to present in front of large numbers of people. As I became more confident at this, I began to enjoy it even more and by the time I had finished my first year, I considered following teaching as a career. I found the STEM Ambassador scheme through a taster day at university, and I was able to sign up to the scheme on the day. An incredible benefit I found taking part through university was that my DBS was free of charge as a student. The scheme allows you to be as active as you can, and you only get the experiences if you put the work in. For this reason, I was able to get some truly valuable experiences whilst managing my studies. If you have every considered teaching, or just fancy stepping in a classroom to see what it’s like, I couldn’t recommend the STEM ambassador program more!”

Sam Pillow

Vice President, Staffordshire University Student Union

Staffordshire Uni Postgraduate Student Shortlisted for National Sports Coaching Award

Katie Parker, who is studying for an online MSc in Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology at Stafforshire University has been nominated for the title ‘Talent Development Coach of the Year’ in the UK Coaching awards 2017. Winners of what are their 20th anniversary awards will be announced in London on 30th November.

Katie said: “I am beyond excited to have been selected as a finalist for Talent Development Coach of the year by UK Coaching.  I am the only Strength and Conditioning coach nominated, which in its self is a huge achievement”.

Katie, with 10 years’ experience coaching football, lacrosse, cricket and athletics, has a background in elite sport. She began her career coaching goalkeepers at MK Dons and went on to coach at Watford FC. She has coached elite athletes in the UK, USA and the Caribbean and teams have included the Welsh international lacrosse team and four county cricket clubs.

In 2015 she was awarded the UK Strength and Conditioning Association’s emerging coach of the year award.

Katie who is currently employed as a Performance Sport & Fitness Officer at the University of Brighton is the first year of her 2-year part time MSc. and said:

“The online MSc. so far has been excellent. It enables me to study where and when I like and further my coaching career in a fascinating area without having to sacrifice my commitments to my work and to those I coach. It’s a win-win situation”

To find out more about our postgraduate programmes click here.

Champions League and World Records – all part of the job for Staffs Sports Therapist

Staffordshire University 2016 graduate Gregg Jones has been discussing the experiences he has gained since embarking upon the early stages of his career as a Sports Therapist. Gregg emphasised the importance of his work placement requirements during his time at Staffs by reflecting how “it helped me massively because I got offered a full time job after! I completed my hours with The New Saints (TNS) FC in the League of Wales and continued to work for them on a voluntary basis for the rest of the season. The club were great with me and I impressed them enough to be offered a full time post.”

What Gregg didn’t anticipate when he started his time with the club was helping the team to become part of the footballing record books! During the course of his first full season TNS set a new world record for the most consecutive victories (27) breaking the 44-year old record set by the Dutch giants Ajax. Gregg stated “when you work in football there is no better feeling than when the team wins, and the form we were in was extraordinary. During this period I learnt how important it can be to keep players fit, and the importance the medical team are to ensure your best side can be picked week in week out.”


This record breaking run secured both the league title and a place in the Champions League qualifying stages for the club. “The most enjoyable part of the job so far has got to be working on the Champions League fixtures! Travelling around Europe, working pitch-side in some great stadiums and atmospheres is something that makes you realise that the hard work pays off!”

Gregg’s position working alongside the first team therapist as head sports therapist for the academy team further illustrates the growing recognition and importance of the role of Sports Therapists with football teams. Gregg’s day to day duties include the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injured players, developing strength and conditioning programmes and providing the match day pitchside support.
Reflecting back in this year in post Gregg stated “everyday has had its challenges, there is always something different that pops up whether you’ve been put in that situation before or not that makes you think. It’s made me realise that every aspect of the course has been, helpful some parts more than others, but I’ve been by surprised how much of the basics you use day to day, the course was very helpful but you can’t beat the hands on experience for finding out the therapist you want to be.”

The Sports Therapy team wish Gregg and TNS all the best for the remainder of 2017-18 season, and are delighted that successes of graduates such as this illustrate why Staffordshire University are currently ranked No.1 for employability .

To read more about our Sports Therapy success stories see the back copies of our SENSE newsletter. For more information about the Sports Therapy programme  click here, or contact programme leader Steve Bateman .